Howdy SEA Fans, welcome to another weekly blog post, published regularly on tuesdays talking about technical aspects related to audio engineering.
Today we are discussing the best vocal editing tools which are being highly recommended by sound engineers worldwide.
In the music production of many genres, a good vocal sound is the alpha and omega. After all, vocals and rap tell the story of the song and transport a large part of the emotions. When recording, it’s not uncommon for a take to be favored as a lead vocal that has small timing and pitch deviations but does translate the song’s feel and feel well. The emotion can only be the artist himself in his performance, but pitch, timing and more can now be subsequently corrected in the software.
No wonder then that there are countless tools for editing vocals, rap, and speech in the software market. With the mass of plug-ins, you can quickly lose track of things. Which plug-ins do you really need to edit the vocal sound professionally? We’ve come up with five tools that experienced engineers use to hide small fags and polish the vocal sound of their productions.
1. Synchro Arts VocAlign Pro
So that the vocals in the song sound in unison or polyphonic, the recording will record doublings, also known as backings. Individual parts of an arrangement are recorded several times “among each other“. Not least in different pitches to form harmonies, such as in the chorus of a song. When doubling the passages naturally arise timing differences that vary more or less depending on the performance of the artist from the main voice. This can even be so extreme that it almost sounds like a short delay. For tight vocals, which are all close together, it is, therefore, necessary to correct these timing inconsistencies.
This is where VocAlign Pro from Synchro Arts comes in. Originally, the plug-in was developed to retroactively synchronize the language in films using ADR (Automatic Dialog Replacement). Engineers quickly took advantage of the tool to automatically align the timing of backing vocals in the music production to the lead vocals. In the plug-in, the corresponding main track and the duplication to be adjusted are selected. VocAlign automatically adjusts the latter to the main track and also provides parameters that allow fine-tuning the synchronization. Not only in pop and rock, but also in the correction of rap makes the use of this plug-in sense. Although every word in the DAW can be cut and twisted, but especially with fast vocals, such as Doubletime, VocAlign takes a lot of work and thus saves time!
2. Antares Auto-Tune
Antares Auto-Tune is a real-time pitch-correction plug-in. Since the invention of the plug-in, Auto-Tune has straightened vocals of countless hits. The software is popularly known as the T-Pain or Cher effect. This is an extreme setting of the retune parameter, which is responsible for the speed of the pitch correction. If this is set to 0 milliseconds, the robot-like “auto-tune effect” is created. But apart from this (after about 20 years still not heard dead) extreme setting Auto-Tune can sound unobtrusive indiscreet use and has therefore also helped many a star to the melodious hit.
It is said that Auto-Tune can even sing people who can not sing. Since Auto-Tune has to do without editor, unlike Melodyne it hardly allows precise editing of individual notes. If the vocals are to be absolutely “on point”, often a combination of both plug-ins makes sense: You get smoothly ironed vocals and can tackle problem passages (which can not be solved with Auto-Tune alone) and “target” Melodyne “And correct.
3. Celemony Melodyne
Melodyne from the Berlin-based software company Celemony is well-known for its natural algorithm for correcting pitch and timing. The tool is gladly used, if the editing of the vocals should sound as inconspicuous as possible. The software is available both as a plug-in, for editing single tracks as well as a stand-alone editor, with which entire arrangements can be mastered and all tracks are displayed simultaneously. In addition to the pitch, Melodyne handles the editing of pitch drifts, vibrato and even timing.
An advantage of Melodyne is the precise processing of individual notes or words. In addition, the specially developed DNA Technology even allows it to intervene in played chords and subsequently correct individual notes, which is why Melodyne even makes it possible to edit polyphonic instruments. Although the tracks to be processed have to be transferred to the Melodyne Plug-in via real-time recording, the software allows very targeted interventions on individual notes. Meanwhile, there are similar editors from other manufacturers and also some DAWs, such as Cubase or Logic are equipped as standard with comparable onboard editors. If the result should sound as natural as possible, the Melodyne algorithm is unbeatable.
4. Synchro Arts Revoice Pro
Revoice Pro, also by Synchro Arts, offers the automatic adjustment of multiple vocal takes, similar to VocAlign. A very special highlight of the plug-in, however, is the artificial generation of duplications. For example, backing vocals can be automatically generated by a lead vocal. The sound of this feature is as authentic as it hardly creates a second tool. There are also features for precise editing of s-sounds, a pitch correction editor, warp and a good DAW integration. In addition to the ability to record the tracks, Revoice is able to import the audio files via copy / paste or drag and drop, which speeds up vocal editing.
Of course, in addition to the plug-ins mentioned above, there are many more tools that you can use to edit your vocals. Many DAWs are already equipped with sufficient editors and plug-ins as needed. Ultimately, it depends on your own way of working, which tools facilitate or accelerate the vocal processing in individual cases.
Which tools are your personal favorites and the feature you love the most?
Just write us in the comments with which plug-ins you edit your vocals!
Happy Sound Engineeering !!!
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